A Balanced Life style does not come just with food itself, but with the habits and rituals that each family and community cultivate together.
Sustainable Environment & Happiness photo Andreoni
The sustainability of our Planet depends on having more families living sustainably—happy, productive, and used to good lifestyle and diet habits on a regular basis. This formula, whatever the specific regiment, should include FUN. We must have FUN!
Deep in my Heart
Backyard Saturdays’ Luncheon: Fun and Lessons for Life
Traditionally at my grandparents’ famous Saturday Luncheons, you would catch my Grandmother singing, my father playing folk guitar, and my grandfather probably working on one of his wood projects at his atelier. Dr. Simone, my grandfather, was an orthopedic doctor, but during the weekends, he would switch aprons, and become our “Jepeto”, a kind to the amicable craftsman and paternal presence in Pinocchio. He would build us toys, birdhouses for his sprawling yard, and special pieces for my Grandmother’s kitchen. They were always doing something that integrated the family. We the children would be “playing pretend” in the grass. If our game was adult-friendly, like cricket, the adults would naturally be tempted to join us.
We all explored hobbies together…
The ladies had seasonal hobbies, get seriously committed to crafting tapestries and all sort of incredible designs through knitting and crocheting. (I refer to ‘ladies,’ but my father also knew how to sew.) There were many individual passions in my family. I remember my cousin’s deeply personalized collection of stamps, for example, but there was always a family game to play together throughout the afternoon. Whether a complex memory game invented by Grandfather or a simple card game, these activities filled with fun performed the serious work of bringing us more fully and deeply together. Those times shine now in my memory replete with the laughter, joy, and pride. Oh, how we bonded! We got even closer as a family. Those moments shining in my memory, right now.
And how we danced!
I had a uniquely creative family whose members all appreciated each individual’s hobbies and passions, in other words, The Element! But what is “The Element”, you ask? According to Sir Ken Robinson, an International Educator, Speaker, and best-selling author, The Element is the place where the things we love and the things we're good at come together.
I still remember the nights when I was already in bed (the curfew for us kids was 8pm), listening to the tap-tap-tap coming from the living room. My parents, aunts, grandmother, and their many friends were enjoying tap dancing classes at home.
I am not suggesting that to be happy we should all start tap dancing and playing silly games or cricket at home. Nevertheless, I can picture myself rescuing details from my backyard memories and transposing those charming moments and the sense of unit to our times, through activities that could become part of people’s life, such as habits that could improve family time.
Manners Matter: At the Table
The lunch time had two tables, one for grownups and the other for us, although, not at the same level floor, but we still could see and listen to each other’s group. Only, when you had already developed enough good manners, were you allowed to sit at the big table, and that was such a memorable moment, deeply appreciated and unforgettable. Is it too foolish to create those traditions based on etiquette code? Maybe. I do not know. Although, I advocate for rituals, more than ever! And it does not matter which guide of manners we are talking about, because what really matters for a sustained contentment and balanced growth, is each family’s tradition. It gives us a sense of where we come from and a natural security to develop our own character.
It might seem foolish to follow table manners, but I truly believe that they benefit the way that we raise our children for many reasons, especially because the table is the time and place that shows the family roots/culture. It is a moment to reflect and socialize collectively (particularly the younger members, following their role models for life.)
Giuli e Calu having a Picnic at Vovô Milton's Backyard -São Paulo late 70's